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1. Romance Movie

Question: I have a difficulty analyzing the plot structure for the movie Wall-E. Can a movie have two different stories with the same characters? Wall-E

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2. #NLLD15 First Time Attendee

So, at some point in February, I decided that I would apply for YALSA’s travel stipend to attend #NLLD15.  I was hopeful and I received the award.  So, I planned my trip, contacted my state coordinator, packed my bag, and was off to Washington.

dupont circleI arrived at 12:30 on Sunday at Ronald Reagan International Airport.  I took Southwest and was able to get a pretty economical ticket.  I found my way to the METRO station, purchased a Smart Ride Card, and hopped on the Metro toward Dupont Circle.  I was on my way to the First Time Attendee Session at the ALA Washington Office.

I stopped for a quick photo on Dupont Circle.  I think Annette Bening made a bigger deal out of it in the “America President” than it was.  Three quick blocks and I stopped at Kramer Books & Afterwords Café for Lunch.  They have an amazing brunch/luncheon menu on Sundays and it is a restaurant attached to a bookstore. Nirvana!  I had the crab cake open faced sandwich.  ( I found it on Urban Spoon.)ala office

After lunch, I walked the 2 blocks to the ALA Washington Office.

The meeting for first time attendees was amazing.  We worked on techniques for speaking with Senators and Representatives.  We talked about “the ask”.  I even managed to take a selfie with the presenter, Stephanie Vance.

Working on your asking skillsThe training was inspiring.  We had the opportunity to meet other librarians and media specialists from across the country.

I headed back to the host hotel after the meeting to meet up with my state delegation for dinner.  We went to a local restaurant and talked about our goals and appointments for the next day.  Oops!  I was supposed to make some appointments!

The next morning, we had a full day of sessions on the different issues and pieces of legislation affecting libraries at the host hotel.  Our state coordinator found a few minutes to have a pastry.Florida delegationCharlie takes a break

Since, I hadn’t made any appointments the day before, I took the list of representatives that were not yet contacted from Florida and made some calls to set up appointments with their staffers.  I managed to contact all but two and schedule appointments throughout the next day.


In the evening, we attended a reception for the librarians at the Dirksen Building, where some of the Senate Committees meet.  I met the YALSA President and the Director and we were photobombed during a selfie.  I also managed to photobomb the President of ALA during a speech to the delegates.

YALSA prez director and me           Working on my testifying

After a quick breakfast the next morning, we were off to the Capitol to visit and discuss the issues.  As usual Southern charm rules and the Florida delegation was warmly received by the staffers of our Representatives and Senators.  Our delivery was professional and I believe our message was heard.  I was encouraged that most were interested in us because we were their constituents in the districts.

It was an interesting experience that I would love to have the chance to repeat.

office visit1

After a quick bite in the underground cafeteria, I was off to the METRO for one last ride to the Airport.  Thank you, YALSA for the opportunity to #act4teens and represent the interests of Florida libraries in Washington.

Grand Central Station           Metro seal



Vandy Pacetti-Donelson is a Library Media Specialist. She is a library advocate and board member for the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME). Find her online at www.eliterateandlevelingup.com or follow her on Twitter @VandyPD.

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3. What's New in YA


Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!




When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else's business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend.  For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.
 The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.
 Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world.  Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained. 
Anything Could Happen is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this darkly funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Beginning of Everything.

Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. But when he finds himself at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie—and life as Lane knows it will never be the same. Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means is a heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about the miracles of first love and second chances.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, and illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.  
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.
Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
Princess X? 
When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). 

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that's still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who understands Eva's grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head over heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the West Coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.  In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls "gorgeous, funny, and joyous," readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all its forms.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





Given the way love turned her heart in the New York Times bestselling To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which SLJ called a “lovely, lighthearted romance,” it’s no surprise that Lara Jean still has letters to write.

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





There’s school, and then there’s the real world. If you’re lucky enough to survive the first, you owe it to yourself to explore the second…

So let’s roll…
With graduation a month away, I’m hitting the road with my best friends Beau, Leonie, and Leonie’s awesome rescue dog, The Bomb. We’ve all got something on our minds. Beau is schooling our school for ignoring brutal bullying. Beautiful, crazy Leonie is striving to become a model. And I’m drilling to join a local roller derby team—The Rat City Roller Girls—where my bulk is actually a benefit! But first, somewhere between finals and graduation, I need some answers. I need to see my dad. Face to face.
Unless he’s moved without telling me, my dad is out in the wilds of Alaska—somewhere remote, beautiful, and amazing, where there will be wild animals, and hot guys, and adventures and lies and heartbreaks. It’s further from home than any of us have ever been. Sometimes that’s how far you need to go to figure out exactly where you want to be…


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!








The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone. 

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

 As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!





The author of Openly Straight returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who's long held a secret regarding Carson's grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!




If there are any new YA books we missed, let us know in the comments below, and we'll add them to the list! 


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4. 5 Rules For Getting Your Query Read

There is so much information about how to write the perfect query and what it needs to include. In all this advice the one thing everyone focuses on is how many queries agents get, the one thing they fail to focus on is how much email agents get.

Whether its a query, emails from editors, authors or spam, agents, like everyone else, receive hundreds and hundreds of email every day. Let's face it, it gets tiring and a lot of the time what we really want to do is just hit delete. So how can you ensure that your query has what it takes to avoid the delete button and, even better, has what it takes to get the agent to read it right away?

1. Who? Make it personal. No Dear Agent, To Whom It May Concern or avoiding an address. If you want an agent to think you're serious about your book and hiring an agent you need to show that you've done your due diligence. A Dear Ms. Faust or even Dear Jessica Faust is all you need.

2. What? Show the agent what you're offering right off the bat. That means in the subject and in the first line.

If you know what the agent is actively looking for via #MSWL or elsewhere that's perfect in the subject: #MSWL Historic Mystery set in New York City or if you know the agent's tastes and clients she represents: Funny Contemporary Romance like Christie Craig I know that in my case a subject that tells me this query is going to be exactly what I'm looking for will probably get me to open it almost immediately.

Everyone is inundated with too much email and too much to do. If you want to grab an agent's attention you need to do so immediately. That means, you have your subject and the first one or two lines before an agent decides whether she'll read more or just reject. Make sure what you give her in those lines is exactly what's going to make her want to read more.

Don't clutter the first line of your query with nonsense. Get to the point. Give her an amazing title, the genre (if you haven't already) and tell her about the book. I don't want to know that you've spent 15 years writing it or that it's based on a true story. You can tell me that later. Hook me and give me what I want. I want a really great book that's going to sell to millions.

3. Why? Why should I want to read your book? This is probably one of the key things an agent looks for in a query. Why should this book be any different from others in the same genre? This is the place to tell me how your book stands out in what is guaranteed to be a crowded genre (they all are) and why I should take it on. What's the hook? How is that different from every other mystery/romance/fantasy/YA out there? If you can't answer this question easily you might need to take another look at the book itself.

4. Where? Place can tell a lot about a book so tell agents where your book is set. A book set in the back woods of Mississippi has a very different feel than a book set in Portland, OR. It also helps give the agent a visual for the book. This includes time period as well.

5. How? How you write that query will make a difference. Check, double-check and recheck for typos. Send it to a couple of people in your critique group to see how it will look in an agent's inbox and, very, very important, keep it short. No one wants to spend more than a minute or two reading a query so keep it as concise as possible and give only the most important facts.


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5. W.T. Richards "Into the Woods"

William Trost Richards painted Into the Woods when he was about 27 years old. It's in oil, and it's not large (15.5 x 20 inches / 39.7 x 51 cm). 

William Trost Richards, Into the Woods, oil/canvas, 1860
I would guess that it was painted entirely on the spot in at least a dozen sittings, and probably in at least two different locations. As with some of Asher B. Durand's woodland studies, the foreground and background seem to be composited together. Such complete vistas rarely exist readymade in nature.

The painting caught the attention of the art public of his time. He had read Elements of Drawing and Modern Paintersthe books by John Ruskin which urged young artists to be absolutely faithful to the small details of nature.

Several artists tried to take up the idea, but WTR did so with the most tenacity. One observer said "he persisted, and carried imitation in art further" than the other pioneers. Another commentator noted that he had "a slow, keen vision, and a slow, sure hand."

Other critics argued that he missed the poetry for the details. In fact, WTR shifted his attention more to express the moods of light and atmosphere in his later canvases. Ruskin suggested that young artists begin by modeling themselves after the Pre-Raphaelites, and with that under their belts, try to emulate the more evocative aspects of Turner.

The painting is in the collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine Previously on GJ: Foliage / Forest Interiors

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6. We’re Here Now - Banbury Creative Arts Show 2015

Yes, I've been busy. Finishing up with final projects of course, and then setting up for our exhibition at We’re Here Now - Banbury Creative Arts Show 2015, over at Castle Quay Centre. Read more about it at my Floating Lemons Art blog.

We also held a preview evening that went extremely well - with wonderful art by my very talented classmates, plus summery drinks and goodie bags ...








For a glimpse of some of the work on show, head over to my college Floating Lemons Art Blog. Here's my final triptych piece titled "A Matter of Identity", and under it is a detail from the centre panel:





First time I've ever been involved in an exhibition so I've learned tons, and had much fun while I was at it. If you're anywhere in the area and are considering popping by, please do! Just click here for more information about the show: We’re Here Now - Banbury Creative Arts Show 2015.

Have a fantastically creative week. Cheers.




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7. {Quick-fire Review} DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE by Carrie Ryan

by andye DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCEby Carrie RyanHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (May 26, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon I’m the daughter of murdered parents. I’m the friend of a dead girl. I’m the lover of my enemy. And I will have my revenge. In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell

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8. Past vs. Present Tense

Question: I've noticed that people say I switch tenses in my writing sometimes. I think most of the time I'll write my story in one tense but then in a

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9. New Trailer Unleashed for Black Mass

Warner Bros. Pictures has unleashed an official trailer for Black Mass. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger; this character is based on the real-life criminal who was one of the most wanted gangsters in United States history.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the story for this movie was inspired by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s bestselling nonfiction title, Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, The FBI, and a Devil’s Deal. This movie is set to hit theaters on September 18th. (via Variety.com)

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10. Cover Revealed For New Stephen King Book

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The cover for Stephen King’s The Bazaar of of Bad Dreams has been unveiled. We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think? Follow this link to see the animated version of this jacket design.

Each short story in this collection is accompanied by a passage of commentary from King on his writing process. Some of the pieces featured in this book include “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation,” “Blockade Billy,” and “Drunken Fireworks.” Scribner, an imprint at Simon & Schuster, has scheduled the release date for November 3rd.

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11. mario sughi aka nerosunero at the RHA 185th Annual Exhibition, Dublin

185th Annual Exhibition
RHA Gallery
May 25, 2015 - August 08, 2015
See the full set from the opening night here

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12. Mama's Right Here - a bookwrap

A mother's heart...

Unwrapping today's book....

Authored by Susan Kerner

Illustrated by Estelle Corke

The watercolour illustrations are just beautiful.  Each are like a painting you can become part of. The colour pallet is bright and the pictures are dreamlike.  Each picture is capable of telling a story all on its own.

     This tender, charming book tells the story of a mother that is absent from a little girl's life.  The little girl experiences her mother's spirit all around her in her daily life, although physically her mama is not there.  

"If you ask me where mama is
This is what I'll say:
She's in me and around me, never ever far away."

      This book is written in rhyme.  The words flow rhythmically  from one page to the next pulling you into the narrative.  The little girl lovingly receives support and guidance from her dad and grandparents. They know and understand how much the little girl is pining for her mother -  that stroke on her back and that goodnight kiss before she snuggles down to sleep at bedtime.  

     She discovers her mom in the golden glow of the afternoon sun, in the feather-soft snow, in the dandelion seeds that float through the air and in the rustling autumn leaves.  She feels her mom's presence all around her in her daily life.  Her beloved family tells her she is her mother's child in the way she crinkles up her nose and in her amazing creative nature.  Although she longs for her mother to be by her side she comes to the realization....

"My mama is in me and everywhere-
she's just here in a different way."

What a beautiful tale to share with a child whose mother may be absent on a long trip,  tucked away in the hospital for a long stay, or has passed on.  The little girl is assured in her heart that no matter where her mother is she is cherished.  She knows in her spirit that her mother is indeed watching over her every moment of the day.  I highly recommend this heartwarming book.

About the author ...

Shortly after marrying the love of her life, Susan lost her husband to cancer while she was expecting their first child. Always By My Side, Susan ’s first picture book, is inspired by her own experience. Susan lives in New York City with her daughter, Lily. A companion book, Mama ’s Right Here, will be also published by Star Bright Books.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.  

Contact me at: storywrapsblog@gmail.com

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13. Facts about Left handed people

समाज में बहुत  तरह के लोग रहते हैं. सभी की अपनी अपनी खासयित होती है अब अगर Facts about Left handed people की बात करें तो कई लोगो को complex  होता है इस बात का कि Left handed  यानि खब्बू होना सही नही होता.

आज एक जानकार के घर जाना हुआ . वो अपनी बेटी को होमवर्क करवा रही थी और लडकी रोती हुई गंदी लिखाई मे लिख रही थी.मेरे पूछने से पहले ही उसने बताया कि उसकी लडकी खब्बू यानि उल्टे हाथ से लिखती है इसे जान बूझ कर लिखाई करवाती हूं ताकि सीधे हाथ से लिखना सीख जाए बडी होगी तो लोग क्या कहेंगें. अरे !!! मैने कहा ऐसा नही होता .. ये तो ईश्वर का दिया वरदान होता है जिस हाथ से लिखे लिखने देना चाहिए ऐसी टोका टाकी से ना सिर्फ इसके मन मे हीन भावना आ जाएगी बल्कि लिखने से भी कतराने लगेगी. एक धंटा उसको समझाया. शुक्र है कि उसे समझ आ गया ..फिर उसकी बेटी ने भी पंद्रह मिनट मे होमवर्क खत्म कर लिया.

वैसे जब मुझे पता चला था कि लेफ्टी भाग्यशाली होते हैं मैने भी बहुत बार उल्टे हाथ से लिखने की कोशिश की थी पर … ह हा हा उल्टे हाथ का चांटा भी जबरदस्त होता है अरे… आप क्या सोचने लगे !!

Top 5 amazing facts about left-handed people that you probably did not know!

1. Just 10% of the world’s population is left-handed, but there have been many left-handed people who are will be remembered for a very long time. Famous left-handed people include Napoleon, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Einstein, Newton, Bill Gates, Oprah, Obama and Jimi Hendrix. But at the same time, 40% of schizophrenics are left-handed- reasons unknown. Top 5 amazing facts about left-handed people that you probably did not know!

तो अब मन से वहम निकाल देना चाहिए कि Left handed होना सही नही है बल्कि जो हमारे पास अपनी विशेषताए हैं उसका सही ढंग से उपयोग करना चाहिए

The post Facts about Left handed people appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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You might recall that we posted a picture of Frizzy in her underbits that was the start of a new project. Well, now we have sketches of ALL of us Izzies in our underbits.  (These pix are all quite modest and proper, we hasten to add.)  To make Frizzy feel less embarrassed about being posted without her usual tunic on, Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) has decided to post the sketches of all the rest of us!

Here's the first one:  BIZZY

(The rest of us are all quite amazed that Bizzy wears striped undershorts. He doesn't seem like the type!)

Anyway, keep checking back to our blog for the sketches of the rest of us!


The (somewhat embarrassed) Izzy Elves

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15. Text haiku

Tough times when a person's favorite people move away. Sending texts to simply say "We miss you," gets old...to say nothing of annoying. So today, I took another tactic.

"This screen is empty/ no when, no where, no questions/ an expanse of gone."

The reply came line by line. "Memorial day.". " going to the pool soon". "Hope all is well, Mom.". " That's a haiku."

And so it continued.  At one point I got this message. "I could do this all day.".

So could I.

Some more haiku texts: " I don't want to walk.". "But D-c- wants to walk there." " So walking it is."

"Not really walking." "Your dad is carrying you." "And he is tired."

My text haiku deteriorated after my first attempt.

I am finished now. My screen is dressed in letters. My heart is at rest.

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16. The Little Red Hen by Mary Finch {Guest Post by Hannah Rials}

**Guest post by Hannah Rials
The Little Red Hen by Mary Finch
The Little Red Hen
The lazy rooster and mischievous mouse can’t be bothered to help the Little Red Hen tend her ear of wheat. They can’t be bothered to help her take it to the miller either, or bake it into bread. But when her loaf of warm, fragrant bread is ready, the Little Red Hen is not at all inclined to share it with them. The rooster and the mouse soon mend their ways!-Amazon
My Summary:
A rooster, a mouse, and a little red hen all lived together in a small barn. When the hen finds a grain of wheat, she decides to plant it, unfortunately without the help of her friends. Each time, she asks for their help in the next step to making bread, and each time they respond, “Not I!” Undaunted, the little red hen makes bread all by herself, and when the time comes to enjoy her delicious creation, she refuses to let her friends taste it. They did not help, so they do not get to try the bread. This teaches them a lesson. When it was time to plant again, the mouse and rooster helped with everything, and they all enjoyed the warm, tasty bread together!
My Opinion:
This wonderful retelling of Margarot Zemoch’s The Little Red Hen is beautiful, clearly displaying the lesson of working together. The lovely illustrations are unique and extremely appealing. Included is a story CD narrated by actress Debra Messing and a recipe to make your own delicious bread! Enjoy!
Something to Do Crafts:
Create own Your Little Red Hen (Using a Red Solo Cup) using the instructions from River’s Edge Curriculum
red hen craft
Create Bread Dough Animals- Using the bread recipe in the back of the book, make your dough into fun shapes. (like our dragon bread featured HERE).
Dragon bread
3. Plant Your Own Red Hen Wheat in these Dirt Cups with Wheat Hair:
Remember planting grass seeds in a cup of dirt, and when the grass was grown, drawing faces on the cups and pretending the grass was hair. Same idea, just plant wheat seeds to grow hair of gold.

Hannha rialsBorn in the hills of Louisiana and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, Hannah Rials is an eighteen year old aspiring author and editor. Now a freshman in college, she’s been writing short stories since she was a little girl, but for the past several years, she has been writing, editing, and re-editing a novel of her own that will soon be published by Audrey Press. Hannah has always loved reading and the world of books. With a librarian grandmother who can tell the most magical stories, how could she not fall in love with the written word? Her library collection and love for books grows every day.


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The post The Little Red Hen by Mary Finch {Guest Post by Hannah Rials} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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17. Roz Chast wins the Reuben Award


The Reuben Awards were given out over the holiday by the National Cartoonists Society, and Roz Chast won the Reuben Award, a once in a lifetime trophy only bestowed on the finest cartoonists. Chast is only the third woman to win the Reuben—Lynn Johnston won in 1985 and Cathy Guisewaite in 1993—and she beat out Hilary Price and Stephen Pastis for the honor, mostly on the strength of her graphic novel Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, a book that has racked up a ton of awards and acclaim for Chast, along with a $250,000 prize.

The rest of the divisional winners are as follows:

Magazine Feature / Magazine Illustration
Tom Richmond

Newspaper Illustration
Anton Emdin

Greeting Card
Glenn McCoy

TV Animation
Patrick McHale, Creator (Over The Garden Wall)

Feature Animation
Tomm Moore, Director, (Song of the Sea)

Advertising / Product Illustration
Ed Steckley

Book Illustration
Marla Frazee (The Farmer and the Clown)

Magazine Gag Cartoon
Liza Donnelly

Graphic Novel
Jules Feiffer (Kill My Mother)

Comic Book
Jason Latour (Southern Bastards)

Online Comics – Short Form
Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots)


Online Comics – Long Form
Minna Sundberg (Stand Still, Stay Silent)

Newspaper Panel Cartoon
Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange)

Editorial Cartoon
Michael Ramirez

Newspaper Comic Strip
Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine)

The Reuben Award
Roz Chast

Special honorees this year were Mort Drucker and Jeff Keane. The kudos were handed out at the annual NCS dinner, held this year in Washington DC, and Michael Cavna was there to record the scene, which like just about everything else in comics, was notable for featuring six female winners, a record!

On Saturday night, in a ballroom holding hundreds of top cartoonists, the organizers might as well have piped in Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” because for only the third time in the event’s six-decade-plus history, a woman — the New Yorker’s Roz Chast — received the group’s big honor, the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. And her trophy capped what may well be the event’s winningest night ever for female writers and artists, as six women won in the 16 competitive categories.

Tom Spurgeon has a little commentary on the winners here, and notes that the NCS has to move forward, just as newspapers make up less and less of the cartooning world, hence the awards for animation and graphic novels and webcomics, while still battling a bit of “old skool” sensibilities as an organization. I would say that Girls with Slingshots is exactly the kind of webcomic that you’d expect the NCS to honor—but it’s also a webcomic deeply deserving of recognition. So despite the changing of the guard nature  of the awards they kind of turned out okay.


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18. Coloring Page Tuesday - Hang Time

     School is out in my town and many kids across the country are now out for the summer, which means more time to hang out and READ!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of nine literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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19. What's On Your Nightstand (May)

The folks at 5 Minutes For Books host What’s On Your Nightstand? the fourth Tuesday of each month in which we can share about the books we have been reading and/or plan to read.
Julie. Catherine Marshall. 1984. 381 pages. [Source: Bought]

I've read Catherine Marshall's Christy half a dozen times--at least. (I reviewed it just last week).  But I've never read her other novel, Julie.  It is reminding me of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. At least superficially. Julie's family moves to a "mill town" after the father leaves his ministry behind, and there are some class issues going on between the owners and the workers, and talk of strikes. I am enjoying it so far.

Far Side of Evil. Sylvia Engdahl. 1971/2003. Penguin. 336 pages. [Source: Library]

If the author didn't make such a point of this book not being a sequel to Enchantress From the Stars, I would simply say that this is Elana's second mission on a "youngling" planet. But the book isn't exactly dependent on Enchantress From the Stars, and, it is much darker overall. I am finding it a compelling read, even, if it isn't as magical for me as the first book.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Edited by Pamela Smith Hill. 2014. South Dakota State Historical State Society. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

I have been waiting for months to read this book! It is an absorbing, engaging read. At first I wasn't sure that I'd read each and every footnote, but, now that I've started the book, I can't imagine not reading all the notes! It is a slow process perhaps, but an enjoyable one! I can't wait to get to the section of the autobiography that is covered in the Long Winter. That being said, I can't believe that the family gave away Jack (the dog) and left him in Kansas?! I wasn't expecting that!!!

The Semi-Detached House. Emily Eden. 1859. 172 pages. [Source: Bought]

I'm enjoying this romantic comedy so far. The heroine is renting a country house--a semi-detached house--while her husband is away on business. Even before she was pregnant, she was the nervous, easily agitated sort. But being separated from her husband isn't helpful! Her sister is staying with her, and, she's beginning to make a few new friends... This one has potential.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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20. Dating Your Manuscript

Should you include current technology and pop references to flesh out your story or should you leave them out so your book is timeless?


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21. Beta Readers: Facts, Grammar, Plot, Character and More

The Aliens Inc, Chapter Book Series

Try Book 1 for Free

Thanks to the computer industry, we no longer have first readers, we have beta readers. Early versions of software that engineers expect to be riddled with problems were called beta versions. Beta is the second letter in the Greek alphabet, so presumably, the alpha versions were kept all in-house. Betas were the first public versions to be released.

The terminology has come over to writing and we now have beta readers. The analogy holds in some ways: the versions we send to outside readers probably isn’t the “alpha” version; instead, it’s a version that is ready for a public audience—but not ready to be published. We expect problems: typos, grammar slip-ups (Grammar Queens, I Love You!), plot holes, character inconsistencies, factual errors, and so on.

What do you want from your Beta Readers?


Factual details. My WIP is set on Bainbridge Island, which sits in the middle of Puget Sound near Seattle, WA. I’ve visited a couple times because my brother- and sister-in-law live there. However, I’ve not lived there, and I’m not grounded in everything BI. I’ve asked them to read through for factual details related to the setting.

To write this story, I drew on my trips to the area, as well as maps, views from Google Earth, historical accounts of the area, writings about the area, information about the local flora and fauna. I’ve done my homework. But there’s nothing to beat living in the locale for years. I would never have dared to set the story in the area except I knew I had these two gracious beta readers.

Bored. I also asked them to flag places they were bored. Wow! Do I need this one. The overall pacing from chapter-to-chapter, and the local pacing from paragraph-to-paragraph both concern me. I want the story to pull a reader along without a pause. If a beta reader is bored, I need to know. I can fix it, using a variety of tools. I just need to know where to work on it.

Confused. Likewise, if the flow of the story confuses the reader, I need to know. Of course, there may be places you WANT the reader to be confused. I’m not talking about that. I’m looking for places where the reader has no idea what is happening. Again, I can fix it: I don’t want beta readers to suggest HOW to fix it. I just want to know where to pay attention.

Consistency. In characterization, I find my biggest problem is consistency in portraying emotions, motivations, reactions and so on. Part of the process of writing is to find these deeper issues within your character, and for me, I often find them late in the story. That means I have to go back and make sure I’ve set up a motivation and expressed it consistently across the story. And sometimes, I miss something.

While Beta Readers Read

This time, I’m trying not to work on the story while the beta readers do their thing. That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the story. On the contrary, it’s in the background of my thoughts all the way.

We went to see The Avengers movie last week. If you saw it (SPOILER ALERT), there’s a huge action scene at the end with all the Avengers protecting the explosive device while robots come at them. It’s a great moment because the team has come together and they are working in concert. Besides that character moment, it’s also a huge action scene. And I mean huge. I almost turn away these days at the fast-paced fighting because there is moment after moment of continuous fighting. The last Transformer movie struck me this way, too: when there’s too much action, it deadens the moment for me.

But it also gave me a new perspective on the ending of my story. The hero doesn’t take a big enough part in the action. He is there (hurrah!). He is active (hurrah!). But his parents get in the way. I need to get rid of them and pit him directly against the villain.

In other words, I hit the target with the ending, but it’s not a bulls-eye, yet.

That’s the sort of thing I’m thinking about while the beta readers read. Where have I hit the target, but I’m not hitting the bull’s eye?

I may not be typing words into a program about the story during this time, but I’m working on it. When I get it back, I’ll have a flurry of revisions to do. Isn’t it great?

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So, May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month, right? And I'm loving (unintentionally) digging out all of these books which feature Asian characters in unpredictable and non-stereotyped scenarios. Here's another speculative fiction novel I just...... Read the rest of this post

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23. George Miller’s Justice League gets a “why didn’t this get made?” documentary

miller justice league

George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road has been a nice moderate hit, accumulating 95 million over the past 11 days, with word of mouth continuing to be strong and rightfully so.

One of the big social discussion points I’ve seen floating around since its release are articles with titles like: “We could have had a George Miller Justice League!”, and it’s true, the auteur behind the Mad Max series was indeed in place to direct the big DC team-up, entitled Justice League: Mortal, that would have seen release just a year after Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight.

Even a few of his cast members from that film appear in Fury Road such as Megan Gale who was signed up for Wonder Woman, and Hugh Keays-Byrne who was intended to play Martian Manhunter. The rest of the cast, which included Armie Hammer (Batman), Common (Green Lantern), Adam Brody (The Flash), DJ Cotrona (Superman), Jay Baruchel (Max Lord), and Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman) contained varying levels of inspiration and exasperation. A number of factors have been cited for why the film wasn’t able to beat Marvel’s The Avengers to the box office, including Nolan not wanting competing, unconnected Dark Knights on the big screen at the same time, a rising budget, and the writer’s strike of 2007-2008.

The biggest problem though? The script just wasn’t very good. At least not the draft I read, which was presumably the final one before production was scrapped. It was basically The OMAC Project combined with Tower of Babel combined with Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, along with an ill-advised fast food plot and some strikingly bad dialogue. This thing would have likely killed your Justice League dreams quicker than you could say “Ryan ReynoldsGreen Lantern“.

But, much like the documentary feature that will cover the disastrous production cycle that marked Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives, another team is looking to do the same for Justice League: Mortal.

Australian director Ryan Unicomb, along with producers Aaron Cater and Steven Caldwell, are aiming to cover what might have been with a documentary entitled, appropriately enough, Miller’s Justice League: Mortal. According to Unicomb, they have investors in place already and may turn to crowdfunding as well.

The filmmaker briefly spoke with Inside Film about the project:

We wanted to get the story out there to help us to gauge interest. I have always been fascinated with project, which would be in the same vein as 2013’s Jodorowsky’s Dune and this year’s The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?

There’s no current timetable for release, and they’ve yet to approach Miller about the project. Hopefully they’ll be able to secure his participation, as I’m sure the story behind this initial Justice League attempt would prove fascinating.

Warner Bros, for their part, will be finally releasing a Justice League film in 2017, directed by Zack Snyder.


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24. "first person"

Question: I have a question about first person narration. The story is non-fiction, but I am wondering which is correct to use; Your author or I and me.

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25. The Power of Positivity in Imagination

Henry’s Stars

By David Elliot


There’s a movie opening this weekend called “Tomorrowland” and I’m not sure if the Disney “imagineers” had anything to do with it, but the premise of looking to a better tomorrow in the future has me on board.

Dystopian films, where the future is about as unpleasant as it can possibly get, as fodder for movie magic, is hopefully on the wane. Though I ruefully must admit that “Mad Max: Fury Road” is still revealing the death of civilization, and cleaning up at the box office while it does.

The power of positivity in imagination is what we should be feeding our kids in what they take in, before they have to deal with harsh realities.

I know what you’re thinking. What about those brothers called Grimm? What about kids being readied as a tasty treat by a witch? What about all those mean step mothers and not a kind one in the bunch?

Wasn’t that a form of realism in the long ago that prepared young readers for the failings of good fortune?

Yes! But it did so with a hopefulness in its arc that said to kids, “Things may get tough, you’ll be hard pressed, but everything will work out if you try your hardest, and are true to who you are.” In other words, look at life with a positive attitude; with new eyes every day. Things can change – for the better.

Long way round the block to Henry the pig; stargazer. He literally sees himself in the configuration of the constellations he looks up at, come nightfall. He sees himself, Henry the starry pig aloft in the heavens and calls it…. the “Great Pig in the Sky.” Pretty neat!

So happy is he that he drags his friends, the beautiful ovines named Maisie, Daisy, and Clementine, a sheep trio, to gaze in wonder at Henry in the heavens.

Wrong! Instead, they see a “Great Sheep.” And what of Abigail the cow? Think she sees the same as the rest? Nope. She sees a “Great Star Cow.” Natch!

And I don’t even have to relate what Mr. Brown, the horse, perceives in the heavens. But I will. He sees a “Great Starry Horse.”

And of course, the chickens join in, with feathers pointing heavenward at the “Heavenly Hens.”

What is it our children see when they look at a cloud patch on a dreamy summer day. Chances are it’s not what you see, even if you point and say, “Look at the …..”

They are their own “imagineers” as it were. And as long as we parents feed that part of them, fully and faithfully, dystopia be darned, they will create a “Tomorrowland” of their lives that will be every bit as wonderful and lasting and creative and changeable as Walt Disney imagined. Come to think of it, we need a Walt Disney today!

I am reminded of a Cherokee legend. A grandfather says to his grandson that two wolves are in a battle inside him… as well as every other person. One wolf is evil; full of sorrow, self-pity, anger, envy and resentment. The other is good; full of peace, hope, kindness, compassion and faith.

The young boy asks, “Which one wins?” The grandfather answers, “The one you feed.”

Thank you, Henry and Mr. Elliot, for pointing young readers to the stars, and not merely to the constant drumbeat of unpleasant realities.

They may come to young readers soon enough. Please let them dream a while longer, maybe even through a lifetime, of the stars.

Feed the good wolf of Tomorrowland in your children, and of what is possible if we allow them to dream with hopeful hearts! 


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